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Rohingya refugee crisis

70 x 40.7 cm | Photography | 2017
The Rohingya are often described as "the world's most persecuted minority". For several decades, discrimination, violence and abuse of human rights by state and non-state actors has led hundreds of thousands of Rohingya to leave the country and to seek refuge elsewhere. After the military crackdown called “textbook example of ethnic cleansing" in Myanmar in August 2017 where triggered an exodus, more than 600,000 Rohingya people have been escaping from the violence to Cox Bazaar in eastern Bangladesh, it brings the total number of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh to over 1 million of which 60% are children. Many of them died when fleeing or drowned in the Naf River because of overloaded fishing boats which transported them. Those who survived walked for days, sometimes weeks, through the river and flooded land, to reach comparatively a safe place beyond the border. They came exhausted, sick, dehydrated, and hungry. Many of them had wounds on their bodies from gunshots. Some of the people arrived without any belongings, bringing only stories about results of the "ethnic cleansing" - mass murder, sexual and physical violence, being attacked or burned. Rohingya Muslims flee from death to a seemingly safe place; now they are forced to live in a makeshift camp where, due to sanitary conditions, they face various diseases. Insufficient amount of food causes malnutrition especially affects children's unhealthy and unbalanced mental and physical growth. The UN Refugee Agency has called the current crisis the fastest-growing refugee emergency in the world today.

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Born: 1984

member since: 2018


Szymon Barylski is a Polish photographer, currently living and working in Ireland.

Barylski works primarily with documentary photography, which he considers a device to explore and better understand the world around us. The photographer began as a street and travel photographer but developed a real affection for documenting the stories of the people he encountered along the way. He wants, above all, for his images to tell a story and to reflect the relationship that he has formed with his sitter. The places in which he captures these portraits provide the emotional backdrop for these personal histories to unfold.

Usually, Barylski works alone, spending time getting to know his subjects and forming connections with them, so as to better engage with their realities. For him a good photograph comes from good research. His preparation for each project is rigorous, spending time researching the subject online then seeking inspiration in the work of other photographers in order to present a narrative that is both personal and universal.

Awards and nominations

Tokyo International Foto Award (TIFA), 1st place in Editorial, Gold Editorial-Political, Gold Editorial-General News
Siena International Photo Awards, Finalist
Grand Press Photo- Finalist

Magnum Photography Awards, Winner category Photojournalism Single Image
Moscow International Photo Awards (MIFA), 2nd place in Editorial- Political
BZWBK Press Photo, Picture of the year award, 1st place in reportage, category General News
Grand Press Photo, 2nd place in reportage category General News
All About Photo Award, Merit Winner
Siena International Photo Awards, Finalist
Nikonians Photography Awards, Finalist
Shoot The Face, Finalist 
Monochrome Awards, International Black & White Photography Contest
Honorable Mention, Photojournalism
International Photographer of the Year (IPOTY), 1st place in Open - Photojournalism/ Story, 2nd place in People – Children Category

International Photography Awards (IPA), Photographer of the Year – Editorial, 1st place in Editorial- Political, 1st place in Editorial - Photo Essay and Feature Story, Honorable Mention- People – Children, Honorable Mention- People – Portrait, Honorable Mention- People- Portrait

Lucie Awards – Discovery of the year, Finalist
Black & White International Award, Honorable Mention
The Lumiere Awards, Grand Prize
ND Awards Photo Contest - Neutral Density Photography Awards, 1st place ND Awards- People – Children, Honorable Mention- People – Children, Honorable Mention - People – Portrait, Honorable Mention - Special - Photojournalism / Story, Honorable Mention - People – Portrait

Photography Grant, Nominee- Story
TIFA – Tokyo International Foto Award
MIFA Moscow International Photo Awards, 1st place in Editorial- Conflict, 1st place in Editorial
Shoot The Frame, Winner- Shoot The Face

21st- 23rd April 2017 - Solo Booth at the 2017 Photo Independent Art Fair, Los Angeles

25th- 28th February 2017, Owada Gallery, Tokyo

20th July – 7th August 2016, Na Kashirke Gallery, Moscow
13th December 2016- 10th January 2017, Simferopol, Crimea, Ukraine/Russia
24th October- 24th November 2016 - International Festival of Photography PHOTOVISA, Novorossiysk Historical Museum, Russia


16th January- 26th February 2017 - SDA Amphitheater, Philippines
20th- 30th October 2016 - International Festival of Photography PHOTOVISA, Novorossiysk Historical Museum, Russia
22nd October 2016 - as part of Lucie Awards celebrations, New York
21st October 2016 - Event Centre, SM City in Pampanga Philippines
2016 CDPC, Chengdu, China

18th November 2016 - Piazza die Navigatori 6/A- Roma

DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY Jurors Romke Hoogwaerts & Grace Leigh
1st September- 1st October 2016 -  The SE Center for Photography South Carolina, US

09th – 11th September 2016, Poland

22nd-23rd May 2016, Istanbul


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